For many people Poland is a place situated in the middle of nowhere. Distant, cold, unknown. Even for those of Polish descent it seems to be sad, drear and terrifying. Poland – for many known solely from the family stories is often associated with the war, the Stalinist purges, or the martial law. The above mentioned stories do not encourage to come and see the devastated tombs of one’s ancestors, the deprived family’s residences or estates. No one fancies places of the distant, blue memories.
However, sometimes one moment turns everything inside out: an old photography in which the grandparents are holding hands, overheard family anecdote from “the old country” or a reunion with a relative, who have just visited Poland. This person has seen their family city, met people who lived there. People who are nice, smiling and happy. People who helped them to find the way, and invited to their houses. They showed them renovated buildings and cemeteries. They presented the country which is friendly and kind for visitors.
Poland has changed. It has changed a lot. It is a totally different place. In this country, remembering about history, people do not look backwards, they look forward thinking about the future. It is worth mentioning that Poland had been created by many nations: Germans, Dutch people, Italians, French people, Lithuanian people, Tatars and Jews…… All the nations which have inhabited Polish lands implemented something foreign into our culture. This is one of the reasons why nowadays many foreigners come to Poland and stay here for good. In the city of Kraków there are about 7.000 foreigners who mostly settled in Poland.
As well those who have Polish descendants frequently come back and want to regain Polish citizenship. They are keen on living here in renovated, single family dwelling which were illegally taken in the past. They would like to have a possibility to stay, to settle down and raise their children cultivating the Polish tradition.
They often encourage their relatives, who once escaped to come back to their fatherland. In the country of ancestors, which surprisingly is neither unkind nor antipathetic.